The NSW teachers’ strike has been called “incredibly disappointing” by the premier who says he won’t be bullied by the union movement.
More than 250 state schools were forced to close on Wednesday when around 15,000 teachers walked off the job for 24 hours to campaign for a pay rise of between five and 7.5 per cent, and two hours of extra planning time.
Teachers are among public sector workers including nurses, paramedics and transport staff pushing for a pay increases above the 2.5 per cent cap in place since 2011.
“What we saw yesterday was incredibly, incredibly disappointing,” Premier Dominic Perrottet said on Thursday.
“The Labor Party (is) in cahoots with union bosses, inconveniencing mums and dads and children right across NSW for political purposes,” he said.
“We are not going to be bullied by the union movement and Labor.
“We will always do things in a measured way.”
The premier said he intends to address the wages policy for frontline workers in the June 21 budget.
He said he could not announce the policy early to avert the strike, because the government was still working on it.
“We’re still looking at revenue figures coming in and seeing what we can afford,” Mr Perrottet said.
“I can’t guarantee our public servants will be happy.”
Opposition Leader Chris Minns rejected the notion that Labor had conspired with the unions, saying people were struggling to make ends meet.
“What’s more convincing to you – that there’s a conspiracy against Dominic Perrottet or a nurse, a police officer or a teacher just can’t pay their mortgage?” he said.
“Many people are telling me that it used to be the case that a single income in Sydney could get your kids through school and pay off your mortgage.
“Then it was two incomes in Sydney would meet those obligations.
“Now for many families, that’s not even enough.”